8 Types Of Budtender Training To Increase Dispensary Growth

October 28, 2022

Running a dispensary is no easy feat - with 37% of dispensary owners disclosing that they are not profitable, understanding how to increase growth in sustainable ways is non-negotiable. 

Many owners turn to their bottom line to try and resolve their profitability problems - however, the critical key to growth lies not in the numbers - but in the people.

“Highly skilled budtenders are the true catalysts paving the way for dispensary growth.”

Although they are employed staff, budtenders represent the face of the dispensary - that's why many owners are prioritizing budtender training as a way to stay ahead of their game. 

While hiring a qualified budtender to run your dispensary is vital to growing your business, it is just one of the processes to ensure your budtender has all the skills needed to work effectively. 

Proper training is a catalyst that can directly impact on sales, legal compliance, and employee retention. 

Let's dig in and uncover the top ways training can increase dispensary growth and how to make it happen.

1 - Training to increase sales. (Duh)

The foremost goal of every business is to make profits, which is made possible through increased sales. It is the same for a cannabis dispensary. 

To increase sales, product knowledge and customer retention is vital, just as getting new customers.

When customers come into your dispensary, they want to be met by a highly trained and professional budtender who has customer relationship skills and sufficient knowledge to answer their questions. 

Remember that your customers are different from one another. Customer A could be taking cannabis for medical purposes, and customer B for recreational purposes who possibly wants to explore new options. In contrast, customer C has no experience taking cannabis and needs a guide to walk them through their cannabis consumption. 

Great training means your budtenders can successfully attend to, suggest products, and build relationships with all types of customers.

Try some of these tips below:

  • Organize events where your partnered brands visit your dispensary and train your employees on their products
  • Recommend a learning application for them
  • Set up periodic product knowledge tests for budtenders to ensure that they are up to date with their knowledge of all available products

With a budtender who is well-trained and educated about the products and accessories in the dispensary, they will be able to make proper recommendations to consumers at all levels and ensure they are all satisfied. When customers are satisfied with both the products and experience, there is a direct impact on sales.

budtender training

2 - Cross-training for multiple locations.

If you want to grow your dispensary- opening multiple locations might be the way to go. But how do you rally your staff around this goal? 

Highly trained budtenders are valuable assets to your business because you can have them work in any of your dispensaries while maintaining your business' image by providing the best service to your customer base.

In order to accomplish this, consider creating dispensary SOPs and a budtender training manual. With tools like this, your budtenders will have the ability to plug and play in any location - using the same tools and processes they already know. 

3 - Being a master of software and tech tools.

As a budtender, it is critical to be able to master dispensary software to increase productivity and decrease the risk of fiscal errors. 

Proper training on dispensary software might offer the following benefits: 

  • They will stay on top of their schedules and arrive promptly
  • They will properly punch in and out for their shifts, saving you from paying for unworked hours
  • They will ring in items correctly
  • They can ensure they aren’t breaching any compliance codes
  • They will check ID and sell to customers correctly
  • They will ensure you comply with state and federal laws 
  • They know how to properly track and trace products 
  • They know when to order products
  • They understand customer loyalty programs and can increase retention
  • They understand and manage sales vs labor reports -  and schedule accordingly
  • They understand multi-location dispensary software, which will save you a lot of stress, ensuring that tasks are automated and completed within a matter of clicks

Having a well-trained team that uses this software will complement your efforts and help make growing your dispensary a smooth process. 

a budtender who is there

4 - Training on dispensary standard operating procedures.

One way to ensure your budtenders are operating at optimal levels is to have laid down Standard Operating Procedures, or SOPs. 

A typical SOP contains a set of guides and rules that explains how a budtender carries out specific duties within the company.

Dispensary standard operating procedures are essential for maintaining consistency in the operations of your employees across your dispensaries and in increasing operational efficiency.

They will also provide your customers with a more consistent and predictable experience - scientifically proven to increase retention rates and loyalty. 

5 - Training to increase retention.

High turnover is not suitable for your business. In fact, it costs employers up to 40% of the employee's salary to try and find a great replacement.

Recent studies have proven that employee retention is closely related to improved sales. In other words - budtenders who are good at their jobs are more likely stay because performing well at something is fulfilling. That is why budtender training in so key. 

6 - Training to decrease dispensary compliance risks.

Having to battle compliance issues will affect your business growth. Apart from the ultimate verdict of closing down the dispensary forever, you could lose customers and suffer loss, along with paying attorneys. Coming back from all these challenges can take a while; some dispensaries close down permanently in particular cases; so it is essential to ensure staff members are adequately educated on the dos and don'ts of a complaint cannabis dispensary. 

A substantial aspect of compliance is product traceability. The movement of every cannabis product should be accounted for in sales reports when submitted to the regulatory body. To put this in place, ensure that your budtenders receive training on track and trace systems.

budtender who is being onboarded

7 - Understanding how to measure success.

Measuring data insights and KPIs is essential for any business to scale. Without examining data analytics regularly, it's impossible to evaluate the success of an organization and recognize issues that slow business growth. 

If, for example, you are considering improving profits and sales, offer training that can help your budtenders sell high-margin products in the dispensary. This can be done by using data analytics tools. You might also provide a healthy competitive environment - encouraging contests or awards for the highest sales people - this will help you, and your team succeed.

8 - Skills that increase customer loyalty and return visits.

The essence of investing in budtender training is improving sales and profits for the dispensary. But the best part is that great salesmanship leads to customer loyalty.

With a trained budtender who positively represents your dispensary, you can be assured that your business will witness exponential growth in sales. Trained budtenders have excellent skills in attending to customers, upselling and cross-selling products. This results in a customer base that trusts your brand and helps to build your company's reputation.

What are some tools that you can use for training? 

A streamlined budtender training system is the ideal way to train your team. Let's take a look at some tools that you can use to make training your budtenders a success:

Training Manual

A training manual is usually a printed copy of all the rules and guidelines of operations in a dispensary containing the company's code of conduct and important compliance guidelines that employees must adhere to. Budtenders can always reference this manual as a refresher and to ensure that they maintain professionalism. 

Video Tutorials

Sharing video tutorials is a cost-effective way of training. Software vendors and cannabis brands often provide tutorials on how to use their products in video format, and these are accessible to dispensary owners.

Online Applications

Going mobile with training your budtenders is one of the most effective methods any dispensary owner can utilize. Mobile training applications are versatile and accessible to budtenders during and off work hours so they can complete training and assessments at their convenience. Many online learning apps also cover training modules that ensure budtenders are well rounded and prepared to carry out their duties optimally. 

Apprenticeship Program

As the name suggests, an apprenticeship program creates a platform for recruits to learn by observing experienced employees. 

Key Takeaways

Expanding a business in sales takes a lot of effort, but we can confidently say that training your budtenders is one of the best investments any dispensary owner can make. 

Want to learn more about how to train your budtenders? Check out our free budtender management learning hub!

Budtender onboarding guide n

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October 2022


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